Many children struggle to adjust to a new family dynamic and may react strongly when divorce is first mentioned.
Preparing to discuss the topic beforehand can help you feel more comfortable when you bring up the subject.
Acknowledge the stress
According to Psychology Today, many teens and older children often hold stress inside during a tumultuous period in their lives. By being open to talking about how you feel, it can help encourage them to discuss the matter as well.
A divorce between parents often leads to a new school or a new house for most kids. Staying honest and direct about what will happen in the future is one way to acknowledge that this is a tough time for them too.
Keep it simple and straightforward
When you decide to break the news, make sure to not go into too much detail about you and your ex-spouse’s relationship. Children, and even teens, do not need to know all the personal struggles or fights you both may have had.
Pick an honest but direct statement and keep the focus on the positives of the situation. It is likely your children will react with a variety of emotions, so you should allow them to express each one openly and freely.
Remind them you care
Some children may worry that this change means their relationship with you will change too. Remind them that while you and your ex-spouse may be divorcing, your love for them will stay the same.
If you can, spend extra time playing or relaxing together with your children. Divorce can be a stressful time for all involved, but discussing it does not have to intimidate you.